On January 26, the Spring Grand Service commemorating the day when Oyasama withdrew from physical life on the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, was solemnly performed in the Main Sanctuary at Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. A total of 80,000 followers returned to Jiba from all parts of Japan as well as from overseas. While attending the Service, they brought to mind the day of origin when Oyasama, out of Her deep parental love that hastens human beings, Her children, to make spiritual growth, opened the portals and stepped out to level the ground throughout the world, and they renewed their resolve to devote themselves to single-hearted salvation.
That morning, the skies above the Home of the Parent were cloudy and the temperature was moderate for the season. Followers filled not only all four worship halls and the Corridor but also the Inner Courtyard and other areas in the Sanctuary precincts.
At the appointed time, the Shinbashira and the other Service performers paid their respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall and proceeded to the Main Sanctuary.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira said: “Looking at the various problems facing the world, all of us Yoboku who follow the path will take this opportunity today to once again ponder over the parental love of Oyasama, who guided us to the path where the truth of the Sazuke can be bestowed on a great many people, saying: ‘There was a thing I had intended to give to My children but I was not able. I shall bestow this truth on you step by step hereafter.’ We are determined to implement the teachings in unity of mind and, thereby, dedicate the full measure of our sincerity in serving as Your instruments for the construction of the Joyous Life World.”
This was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. The followers joined in singing the songs for the Service in high spirits. The performance of the Dance with Hand Movements came to an end shortly before 2:00 P.M. The Shinbashira then took the podium and began delivering the sermon (see pages 2 and 3 for the full text). At 2:00 P.M.–the exact hour marking Oyasama’s withdrawal from physical life–he paused for a moment to offer a brief prayer in the direction of the Foundress’ Sanctuary.
Between the 25th and 27th, a total of 906 people attended the Besseki lectures, including 202 first-timers.